How to Conduct an Interview: For Millennials

By Adam Robinson,
November 13, 2012

A lot of hiring managers hate it, others avoid it, and some just know exactly how to handle it. When interviewing millennials, patience, enthusiaism, and an open mind go a long way! Since 99.9% (it’s true!) of Hireology is comprised of millennials – we know what we’re talking about when we give interviewing advice. So we thought we’d share some do’s and don’ts when it comes to conducting an interview for a millennial.

DO: Provide a concise timeline and set expectations

It’s not secret that in today’s world, people like things quick, and straight to the point. Millennials are no different. Ericka Spradley wrote an article on The Ladders’ RecruitBlog that said, “it’s best to inform the candidate of what the process entails as well as how long it will take. The interviewer’s ability to level set in the beginning could be the difference between losing or gaining top talent.” So get to the point, and lay eveything out on the table so there are no gray areas between interviewer and interviewee.

DON’T: Mold Your Culture

Millennials are big on culture, like really big. So big, that 91% said they’d leave their job if they were unhappy with the culture. So our advice is, don’t try to make out your company into some kind of Google culture that it really isn’t; because 9 times out of 10, your new hire will quit while the ink is still drying on the offer letter. 

Instead, be honest about your culture. Just because you don’t ride scooters around your office and have a keg in the kitchen doesn’t mean a millennial won’t be interested. Point out the unique parts of the organization that would make someone want to work there, and leave out the fluff.

DO: Appreciate their Enthusiasm

Have you ever seen anyone more excited to be at an interview than a millennial? I remember my first interview at a shipping company (I know..) where instead of seeing cublicles, bad coffee, and slow computers, I saw Disney World! Really, don’t mistake a millennial’s enthusisasm as a superficial sarcastic act. It’s probably not. They are truly happy to land an interview and start their careers and you are step 1 in that plan.

DON’T: Wing the Interview

Millennials have been trained in interviewing, they know what you want to hear. So instead of “winging” your interview and asking the same ‘ol questions, dig into their past and try this little HR thing called behavioral interviewing. And while you are at it, develop an interview guide that is strategically planned so you are asking all the RIGHT questions. Here’s a sales interview guide to get you started.

DO: Order Skills Testing & Background Checks

Pre-employment testing and checks are the most important part of the hiring process. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a millennial because you have assumed they know technology only to find out they’ve only worked on Excel when planning a vacation. Check em, test em, do everything you have to so you can avoid a bad hire! 

By 2014, 36 percent of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of this generation and by 2020, nearly half (46 percent) of all U.S. workers will be Millennials. Conducting an interview with a millennial doesn’t have to be awful. It can actually be rewarding and considering in 8 years half of your office will be Millennials, why not start on the right foot?

Is interviewing millennials proving harder than you thought? Don’t get discouraged, check out our advice.

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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